Bath coach Mike Ford insists Sam Burgess wants to challenge for a place in the pack for England's next squad, rubbishing rumours that he'll head back to rugby league
In fact, Ford says the former Super League and NRL player wants to secure a place as a flanker for his country’s squad for the 2019 World Cup in Japan.
Bath played him in the back row numerous times at the end of the 2014/15 season, having initially weened him into the game at centre, and Ford insists that’s the position he was destined to play.
“The last conversation I had with him, he was going to extend his contract with us and he wanted to go for the next World Cup,” Ford was quoted as saying by the Times.
“He is going to play for us for the next few years. He loves rugby union, he is settled in Bath and he knows he is a six,” Ford added.
“Proving he is an international back-rower is the big challenge now for Sam. He’s always been a No. 6 for us, no question. We’ve talked about next time the England squad gets selected, his goal’s got to be to be there as a six.”
With the England stars set to return to their club sides early after their final game of the tournament against Uruguay on Saturday, Ford believes Burgess has the opportunity to impress on the blindside against some of the best in the world as Bath kick off their European and domestic campaigns.
The England squad is likely to undergo an overhaul both on and off the pitch following the World Cup failure, meaning Burgess could fight for a place in the pack for the Six Nations campaign.